Amid much speculation Oxford University on Thursday began human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine.
If the trial emerges successful, the vaccine will be available for the public by the later part of this year.
According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, of the more than 100 research projects around the world to find a vaccine seven are currently in clinical trials, stated reports.
Such trials are already underway in China and the United States and are due to begin at the end of this month in Germany, where the federal vaccine authority gave the green light on Wednesday.
The British government has strongly supported Oxford University’s work.
In its first phase, half of 1,112 volunteers will receive the potential vaccine against COVID-19, the other half a control vaccine to test its safety and efficacy.
The volunteers are aged between 18 and 55, are in good health, have not tested positive for COVID-19 and are not pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vaccines work by exploiting the immune system’s memory.
UNICEF has warned that conflict, complacency and the growing anti-vaccine movement threatens to undo decades of work to tame the disease measles.
Ten participants will receive two doses of the experimental vaccine, four weeks apart.
Experts are optimistic of 80 percent success rate and plan to produce one million doses by September, with the aim of making it widely available by autumn if successful.